Kitchener-Waterloo

Google Chromebooks offered for loan in rural Wellington libraries

Students in Drayton, Palmerston and Mount Forest will be able to borrow a laptop at their local library starting today, thanks to a partnership between the Wellington County Library Services and the Upper Grand District School Board.

Libraries in Drayton, Palmerston and Mount Forest will get five laptops each

Students in the Upper Grand District School Board will be able to check out laptops like this Google Chromebook from rural library branches in the area. (The Associated Press)

Students in Drayton, Palmerston and Mount Forest will be able to borrow a laptop at their local library starting today, thanks to a partnership between the Wellington County Library Services and the Upper Grand District School Board. 

As part of the pilot project, 15 Chromebooks will be distributed among three rural libraries and available for students with a valid library card to check out. 

Murray McCabe, Wellington County's chief librarian, said the laptop lending program will help children and teenagers who are having trouble accessing the Internet for school projects.

"I guess if you live in an urban setting, access to the Internet is not a huge concern anymore," McCabe said. "The Internet is not available to everybody and in some cases it's very expensive. Having the Internet through the public library in rural communities is extremely important for both students and businesses in fact."   

McCabe said the three branches that will have laptops were chosen strategically. 

"These would be areas that probably have the most difficulty in accessing the Internet, when you're not in the villages and hamlets themselves. So I think it's a good fit for the students that are in need." 

Students can use the laptops at each library or check them out to use at home. 

McCabe said the school board isn't worried about laptops being lost or stolen, because the computers are "relatively cheap." 

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